Norway to reduce supermarket plastic packaging by 400 tonnes

Norway to reduce supermarket plastic packaging by 400 tonnes
Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix
Norwegian supermarkets are becoming more friendly to the environment, with fruit and vegetable sections potentially reducing plastic use by 400 tonnes this year.

Major companies in the Scandinavian country have committed to more environmentally-friendly packaging, VG reports.

“Something changed with people’s feelings after the tragic story with the whale near Bergen [30 plastic bags were found in the stomach of a whale that washed up on the beach, ed.]. We can see it in the feedback from our customers. Everyone is now concerned about plastic, not just those who have always been environmentalists,” Jan Paul Bjørkøy and Kristine Arvin, director and communications officer with the Kiwi supermarket chain, told VG.

Kiwi, which has 650 stores in Norway and a turnover of over 35 billion kroner (3.6 billion euros), has said it will reduce its plastic use, which stood at 1,000 tonnes in fruit and vegetable packaging last year, by 200 tonnes by the end of 2020.

Although plastic is necessary to some extent to preserve products, it can nevertheless be reduced, the company said.

One example is packaging of strawberries, which will be switched from plastic to card once existing stocks have been used up, according to VG’s report.

Kiwi also wants to switch to fully recyclable plastics use by the end of the year.

Bama, Norway’s largest distributor of fruit and vegetables, has also said it is prepared to change its approach to plastics use.

“This summer, we will supply 20 million paper trays of Norwegian berries to our customers. That means 250 to 300 tonnes less plastic,” the company’s director of communications Pia Gulbrandsen told VG.

By removing plastic from avocado packaging alone, Bama says it can reduce the amount of plastic being used by its customers, which include Kiwi, Meny, Spar, Joker and Rema 1000, by 120 tonnes.

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